[Advaita-l] Srimad ParamahaMsa ParivrAjakAchAryavaryavarya

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jul 14 02:01:57 EDT 2022

On Mon, 11 Jul 2022, KAMESWARARAO MULA via Advaita-l wrote:

>On the Occasion of this years Guru Pournami i.e 13th July (Wednesday),

On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima/Vyasa Puja, I would like to 
express my heartfelt wish that all members and other readers of our list 
will reach the utmost success in their sadhana with Guru's grace.

> Briudavali which we discussed earlier. Sringeri Birudavali Guru Stotra 
> starts with "Srimad ParamahaMsa ParivrAjakAchAryavaryavarya".

> I started understaning it from the first word i.e "Parivrajakacharya" In 
> the Sanyasa Tradition there are four stages of Life towards upliftment 
> of perfection. These stages are called kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, 
> parivrājakācārya, and paramahaṁsa.

There is some confusion.  kuticaka, bahudaka, hamsa (not parivrajaka, see 
below.) and paramhamsa  are four types of sannyasa defined in 
dharmashastras marked by varying amounts of attachment to karma along with 
Vedantic sadhana.  See Jivanmuktiviveka of Swami Vidyaranya for a full 
dicussion with sources.

> The paramahaṁsa stage of life is the 
> highest stage of perfection.

JMV says the kuticaka and bahudaka combine jnana and karma (which is 
completely unacceptable in Advaita Vedanta) and carry the triple danda. 
Now the Shrivaishnava, Ramanandi etc. sannyasis believe in 
jnanakarmasamucchaya and are tridandis but I don't think their style of 
sannyasa quite matches up with the descriptions of bahudaka and kuticaka.

hamsa and paramhamsa are the advaitic forms of sannyasa.  The Hamsa (a 
bird like a swan or goose) is said poetically to have the ability to 
separate amrita from water.  In the same way, a sannyasi should have the 
viveka to separate the real from the unreal.  They carry one danda 
and completely renounce all karmas,

The difference between the two is that the Hamsa's sadhana is only of a 
type suitable to achieve kramamukti at best.  The paramahamsa is capable 
of jivanmukti i.e. liberation in this very lifetime.

>  Kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa are gradual 
> progressive stages in the renounced order of life sannyāsa Tradition

This is all theory really.  In practice all Advaitin sannyasis are (or 
ought to be) of the paramhamsa type.  JMV distinguishes two subtypes.  The 
vividisha has taken up sannyasa in order to better seek jnana.  The 
vidvan is already a jnani and his sannyasa is a natural consequnece of his 
understanding that the world of names and rupas is maya.  Among them are 
some who have renounced even the danda and other symbols of sannyasa. 
They are called atyashramis because they have transcended even the 
sannyasa ashrama.

>and Queen Kuntīdevī, the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, has spoken about them in 
> her prayers for Lord Kṛṣṇa (Srimad Bhagavatam).

As you say, Bhagavatapurana also extols the paramahamsa as the highest. 
Another name for it is paramahamsa samhita.  Swami Madhusudana Saraswati 
entitle his commentary on the first shloka of Bhagavata as 
paramahamsapriya.  Nevertheless the Bhagavata and other puranas lack the 
finer details about the process of sannyasa.  For that the most 
authoritative source are the paddhatis such as that by Swami Vishveshara 
Saraswati (Guru of Madhusudana)

And please stop using the ISKCON translation of the Bhagavata.  It is 
utterly unreliable.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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